The school knew that the fifth grader had behavior problems on the bus — but their solution only made things worse.
As Fox 8 News reports, in the fall of 2016, a fifth grader in Ohio’s Jackson Local School District had become a disciplinary issue. Attorney Laura Mills told Fox 8:
“This fifth grade student had previous serious issues on the bus. He was accused of throwing a lit match on the bus. So he was disciplined. He was suspended from the bus for a week. He was supposed to be placed in the front right seat alone.”
The 11-year-old did end up sitting in the front seat. The problem was that he wasn’t alone.
A 5-year-old girl shared the seat directly behind the driver with the older boy.
And though the seat was assigned as a disciplinary measure, the driver couldn’t actually see what was happening in that seat while he was driving.ThoseGuys119/Flickr
The older boy took advantage of the driver’s blind spot to repeatedly molest the young girl who shared the seat with him. Mills told Fox 8:
“The driver is unable to see the seat right behind him. So then over a period of a couple weeks the kindergartner is subjected to sexual assaults. It is horrific. It is one of the most horrifying cases I have ever handled.”
Mills represents the girl’s family, who have filed a federal lawsuit over the assaults.
When the parents of the girl learned she was be molested, they went to the police.
The boy confessed, and was charged with gross sexual imposition. Investigators also discovered that the boy’s actions had been caught on video. Mills said, “When I saw the video I didn’t sleep for days.”
The boy has since moved out of the school district, and the district superintendent says he cannot comment on the incident due to the lawsuit.
Mills says that the family’s first priority is getting help for their young daughter, but that they also want to ensure that this never happens to anyone else.